Customer engagement facts study showed that 70% customers make buying decisions based on how they are treated, and this explains why 55% customers pay more if they experience better brand service and engagement.
Are you struggling to get more people to leave comments on your online business blog, or even like, retweet, share and follow your content and profiles on social media?
Or has it been months and months since you started your online business yet no customer has bought from you or signed up for your newsletter?
If you are experiencing all that, your online business needs these 15 customer engagement strategies which will help you to build a robust online presence.
According to live internet stats, there are over 1.9 billion websites and 3.9 billion internet users on a daily basis.
In all that competition and screaming noise of substitutes and alternatives, it is easy for your online business to become isolated if you do not use the right customer engagement strategies.
Use the three books below to gain more information on starting and growing your online business, increasing customer engagement and building a robust online presence.
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Forms of engagement your online business needs to grow
Customer engagement is the process of building a robust online presence through creating a loyal customer and audience base who will readily buy from you, consume your products or services and even recommend them to other people.
I know some of you are still wondering what kind of customer engagement is essential when growing an online business.
In that case here is a summary a few examples of ways in which people can engage with your online business.
- Comments on blogs, podcasts, YouTube channel and other platforms for your online business.
- Social media engagement, such as Facebook likes, comments, followers, messages, and shares or Twitter replies, retweets, mentions, and messages.
- Buying of products and services from your online business.
- Successful sign-ups to webinars, newsletters, courses and other calls to action.
- High email open rate and replies
- Mentions by other influencers
- Getting backlinks from other entrepreneurs in your niche
- Direct feedback and shares on your content.
- Better usage metrics, such as high page views, high dwell time, low bounce rates and high click-through
- High customer account login as you continue building your online business.
Why increasing customer engagement important?
According to a study on facts about customer engagement, the researchers found out that highly engaged audience spend 23% more than inactive ones.
- More sales and profits: The Engaged audience will boost your sales because they will recommend your products and services to others and also they will become returning buyers to your online business.
- Helps you to know your customers more: It is not easy to define the buyer personas of your target at 100%. Therefore, interacting and engaging with your audience with the right customer engagement strategies more helps you to know them. The more you understand their needs, the better because you will serve them more effectively.
- Acquire new customers: Building a strong online presence with high customer engagement is all about having the right inbound marketing mechanisms that will convert strangers into visitors and finally buyers and brand ambassadors.
- Increase retention: Customers and your online business visitors will only stick around if they are engaged. Therefore, driving more customer engagement to your online business will increase retention of new and returning visitors.
- Build brand loyalty: Your online business needs loyal customers who will continue to consume your products and services even if there are better substitutes in the market. These eventually become brand advocates who will help you drive more sales and build a robust online presence.
15 strategies for increasing customer engagement in your Online Business
1. Know your target audience
You want more customer engagement in your online business right?
Then you should establish channels where your customers can engage with your online business through telling you who they are and what value propositions they want from your online business.
The bitter truth is that no one will ever care about leaving a comment or sharing your online business on social media as long as you do not meet their needs.
Therefore, knowing your customer’s buyer personas is the backbone of creating an effective customer engagement strategy for your online business and making money online.
Your unique selling proposition must directly reflect the needs of those customers and the solutions they need.
Below are four strategies you can use to boost customer engagement in your online business, and they will also help you to know the more as you grow your online business.
- Surveys: Use tools, such as Typeform and Survey Monkey to create campaigns and questions you can use to collect information about your customers.
- Polls: Create polls on social media platforms, such as Facebook to gather feedback from interested people which increases customer engagement.
- Website engagement tools: There are many customer engagement tools you can use on your online business website and other platforms, such as WebEngage, Hello Bar, and UserVoice among others.
- Questions and discussions: Leave questions in forums, communities, and other social media profiles to encourage engagement. Remember the goal is to know your customers’ needs and also refer them to relevant content on your website or online business.
2. Build a user-friendly website
Most online businesses have a site because this will be the platform where you showcase your business products and services as you grow your online business.
Therefore, the website must be user-friendly in the following ways for you to drive more customer engagement.
- Fast loading: Research shows that 53% of customers or website visitors will leave immediately if it loads longer than 3 seconds. Therefore, if you want more customer engagement, your website must load faster to avoid discouraging its users. The speed of your site largely depends on your hosting service provider. For example, I use SiteGround and Bluehost on my website and all load under one second. See a SiteGround review on the 10 reasons why I love Siteground Also, check out the ultimate guide on how to build a website the right way with Bluehost here.
- Easy navigation and site architecture: Make it easy for your website users to find information through internal links, menus, and widgets creating attention to relevant information in your online business.
- Mobile friendly: Statistics show that mobile searches will account for 72% of all searches on the web by 2019. This means that to drive more customer engagement to your website you must optimize for mobile devices, and this will eventually build a strong online presence for your business.
- Not cluttered with too many ads, popups, irrelevant content and a cloudy design.
- Has a responsive design which will make it usable on all devices and platforms. This largely depends on the theme you choose to use. For example, one of the most responsive themes, Divi from Elegant themes on all my websites. See a live demo of Divi here and also read this post on the 20 reasons why I think Divi is the best WordPress theme.
3. Create quality engaging content
Customer engagement is a two-way process because you must provide value before you receive those shares, comments, sign-ups, purchases and other forms of engagement.
Below are some of the ways you can use this customer engagement strategy to build a robust online presence and earn money online in your online business.
- Use sharable content formats: Several industry case studies show that some content formats, such as how to guides, lists posts, and video among others get more shares, retweets, comments and other forms of engagement more than others.
- Share your own experience: If you want more customer engagement to share your own story to build trust and brand loyalty when building your online business.
- Optimized with keywords: The only way content is found on the web is through the use of keywords (search words and phrases users enter in search engines to find information). Thus, producing content that is well optimized with content makes it easy to be noticed by your target audience. As long as your ideal readers and customers have not come across your content, its engagement remains low. Thus, make keyword research a habit in your online business.
- Include real-life events, occurrences, and people to build credibility which will boost more customer engagement in your online business because those are things that your audience can relate to easily.
- Use attention-grabbing headlines: Several case studies shows that 59% of internet users share a piece of content without reading it if the headline is interesting. You can use several tools, such as CoSchedule headline analyzer to create better headlines as you grow your online business.
- Be relevant: Customer engagement depends on your ability to provide information at the right time for the proper purposes based on trends, seasons and user’s preferences and demographics. You must keep an eye on these changes when running your online business so that you can remain relevant to your target audience.
- Well organized: To boost more customer engagement on your online business content types, such as blog posts, you must package them in an easy For instance, use sub-headings, write short paragraphs and use different formatting styles, such as bolding, italics and changing color to draw attention to specific texts on the content.
4. Remain consistent
Consistency will help you to build an online business brand identity.
Several studies show that 70% of customers buy from or engage with products and services from known retailers (in other words businesses with a brand identity)
If you want more customer engagement and high online presence in your online business, you should be consistent with building brand identity in the following ways.
- Branding: Create specific typography, color scheme, logo, favicon and other branding factors for your online business and remain consistent with them as you grow your online business.
- Purpose: Is the purpose of your online business clear to your audience, and do you remain consistent with it? For example, if your online business niche in fitness, do you stay consistent with it or are you always changing focus to personal development, sports, and other niches?
- Writing style: Does your writing style reflect that preferred by your audience. For example, if you are writing for lawyers, does your writing style match the jargon used in that niche?
- Publishing Schedule: Do you think you can build customer engagement if you publish one post today and wait two weeks later or when you feel like to produce another? The longer you wait and remain inconsistent in your online business value proposition, the easier those customers will forget you quickly.
5. Encourage Engagement by offering ways to interact
You can also help your customers to engage more with your online business by creating an enabling environment in the following ways.
- Ask for it: For example put calls to action at the end of blog posts, email or social media posts asking them to share, leave a comment or ask a question.
- Have share buttons on the website: Make sure that there is social share and social follow buttons on your site by using the right social plugins or tools to create them in your online business. For example, I use Monarch from Elegant Themes because it is simple and allows for a wide range of customization options. View a demo of Monarch here
- Use Optin chats and forms: They grab the attention of your customers and website visitors by either initiating a conversation or bringing up a message which prompts them to do something, such as subscribe to your newsletter. For instance, I use OptinChat for chats or MiloTree for popups. I also use Bloom from Elegant Themes because it allows for a wide range of customization and has a wide range of templates. View a live demo of Bloom here. See MiloTree in action here. Try OptinChat free here.
- Have a search box: Placing a search box in your online business encourages your customers and website visitors to find additional information, which further increases their engagement with your online business.
- Customer testimonials: Let your records and performance do the speaking for your online business through testimonials because your loyal customers are your best brand ambassadors.
- Offer engagement channels: For instance, make sure that your blog has a comment section, make it easy for customers to contact you directly by leaving contact information online or having contact forms on your website and social media profiles.
6. Make internal and external linking a habit
The more your customers can find related information the higher their engagement.
For example, in WordPress, you can use these 9 plugins to display related posts at the end of every blog posts or on other strategic locations, such as widgets and footer.
Additionally, anytime you mention something within your content you should either link it to a post within your website or another in your competitor’s site.
See the summary to find out how internal and external linking boosts customer engagement in your online business.
- Encourages people to spend more time on your site because they keep discovering better pieces of information along the way from the linked content, and this boosts customer engagement on all content.
- Helps readers to find useful information that is of interest to them instead of keeping them focused only on one piece of content they may not enjoy that much.
- When you link to external sites, it encourages the customers of your competitors to engage with your online business because they already love your niche and topic of discussion.
- Additionally, external links will help your readers to trust you more because you always direct them to better content which meets their needs.
- It keeps your online business fresh because all content is given equal exposure as you grow your online business.
7. Repurpose Content into different formats
If you want high customer engagement in your online business, you must be ready to go an extra mile of changing content into various forms to appeal to different types of audiences.
For example, you can changes a blog post into video, podcast, infographic, PDF or PPT among others.
This method works best when you use the right promotion channels to share your repurposed content. For instance, share the video on YouTube, PDF to Docstoc, PPT to Slideshare and infographic to Visually among other platforms.
8. Have clear Call to Actions (CTA)
A CTA is a message which encourages your customers or website users to sign up for something, such as a newsletter, new course or a free download among others.
Follow this link to find some companies with the best highly converting CTAs so that you can borrow some tips from their CTAs.
In case you are wondering which tool to use to create these CTAs below is a list of the tools I use in my business to achieve this customer engagement strategy.
- Bloom: I use this fantastic optin plugin from Elegant themes to create opt-in forms with a call to action, such as pop-ups, fly in, locked content and widget forms among others. I like Bloom because it has a wide range of customization and templates to choose. Follow this link to see in Bloom in action.
- Convertkit: There is no better way to create CTAs than through your email service provider. I use Convertkit to create forms or landing pages which I then embed directly to my posts as pop-ups, in line within the content or on the widget using a shortcode. The good thing about Convertkit is that they have a plugin which allows you to manage all your forms directly from the WordPress dashboard.
- Divi theme: One fantastic feature about the Divi theme from Elegant themes is that it a multipurpose theme. It has a call to action module which enables you to create beautiful designs. Also, the Divi theme can help you to create landing pages with CTA buttons embedded forms to make your work easier. Therefore, using Divi saves you the cost of buying an external landing page creation software or tool, such as LeadPages.
9. Build a Community or Group
There is no better way to build customer engagement in your online business than building social groups of like-minded members like the examples below.
- Facebook groups. For example Bloggers United Group for bloggers and Work at Home Moms for mothers.
- Create a sub-Reddit such as r/Blogging for bloggers
- Create a forum both public and private, such as Warrior Forum for bloggers.
- Build a membership community for exclusive content.
- If you are Pinterest Ninja, build a Pinterest group board or Tailwind tribe.
- Create LinkedIn groups
If you choose to use this customer engagement strategy in your online business, below are a few tips you can borrow.
- Stay engaged by responding to comments, questions, and any other discussion promptly.
- Promote it widely in your blog, email outreach, and other traffic generation methods to gain more members to the community.
- Make it easy for members to join.
- Solve problems and offer exceptional value to members to encourage them to stick around and invite other essential participants to the group.
- Have a clear goal.
- Be consistent, and it is advisable to use a schedule, such as a blog posts promotion Monday, testimonial sharing Wednesday or best quotes/memes sharing Friday among others.
- Delegate and collaborate with highly active members to promote more participation and keep support top notch.
- Share valuable experiences and testimonials to encourage new members to join the group through showing them how others have benefited from the group.
10. Mention other influencers
Your online business is not an island because it exists on a platform where others do, and some are more experienced or even better at what they do than your online business.
Yes, this is a source competition, but you can use it to your advantage in the following way.
After you mention other influencers, email them letting them know about the mention and asking them to share your article/post with their audience.
Remember that they have a broader audience base than you, and so mentioning you back in their content and products will result in engagement from their audience with your products.
Those external mentions or links are called backlinks, and there are many link building strategies you can use to increase engagement on your online business by sharing your competitor’s audience.
11. Give exclusive offers
Your online business can build customer engagement through seasonal offers or enticing deals which reward the customer for taking some action.
For example, giving customers a 30-days free trial after sign up for a product sale or a 10% off coupon for purchasing a paid membership.
You can also host contests and free giveaways to loyal and profoundly engages customers in building brand loyalty and strong online presence.
12. Curate content regularly
Curating content is the process of combining all similar and related information into one big list to reach out to a specific kind of audience.
For example, you can drive customer engagement in your online business by using the following means of curating content.
13. Co-create with known brands
Flying solo is safer, but it takes longer to get to your destination and goals in your online business.
For this reason, you can use the resources and audience of other brands with an engaged audience to grow your online presence faster.
For example, if have valuable networks with essential influencers in your niche you can ask them to contribute to the creation of a new product, such as e-book or software.
After its release, they will be more than willing to share with their audience because they were involved in the process of creation.
Another method of co-creation is guest blogging where you create content for another website. This method will drive more customer engagement in your online business because it exposes your business to those customers.
14. Leverage the power of live streaming
Live stream content has more engagement, and this is why you cannot ignore its importance when building your online business.
For instance, to drive more customer engagement in your online business through the following streaming opportunities.
- Host webinars
- Use Facebook Live
- Use Google Hangouts
15. Be unique
If you want more customer engagement in your online business, give your visitors exceptional value that they do not get anywhere else.
The more unique you are, the higher they will want to be associated with your business because you uniquely solve their problems.
Being unique gives your online business a competitive advantage over other competitors in the market which helps you to gain more customers.
High customer base volumes equal more engagement with your online business products.
ustomer engagement in any online business is a two-way process.
You must facilitate the engagement first by putting all the 15 strategies above into action on your online business.
Also, you must reciprocate the generosity of you engaged customers through constant communication and exclusive offers.
Now it is over to you!
Implement all the strategies above, and you will begin to experience more shares, blog comments, followers, and subscribers in your online business.
Remember to be vigilant enough to turn that engaged audience into customers and brand ambassadors though being unique, consistent and offering exceptional value.
To implement all these strategies you need an online business and a website for it. Therefore, follow this link to discover 40 types of online businesses you can start today.
After you identify the ideal type of business you want to create, follow this link to discover a step by step process of creating an online business the right way.
Finally, build a website for your online business using this simple website creation process for beginners with zero coding experience.
Also, you can check out the four books below to discover more information about customer engagement and growing an online business into a multi-billion empire.
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